xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
Here is a sad movie with a funny movie inside trying to get out. The sad movie tells the story of a man who is utterly obsessed with women. He thinks he loves them, but he's not a lover, he's a collector. He goes to see an analyst, but that doesn't help because he falls in love with her. Beautiful women make him restless. He letches and dreams, pursues and fantasizes, until finally his obsession kills him. Because his funeral opens the movie, I have not given away very much. This movie is not only sad; it's also insincere and dishonest.
The funny movie inside is another matter. It's about how Burt Reynolds goes to Texas and is seduced by a sex-mad temptress whose husband is a jealous oil millionaire. She likes risk. Her encounters with Reynolds take place during cocktail parties, horse races and on the highway. Because she is truly a sensuous woman (especially as played, with great wit, by Kim Basinger), these encounters take on a kind of surrealism. And Basinger drapes her body on Reynolds with a bold sort of leaning maneuver that would create obsession in a man of stone.
The Texas movie is funny. It reminds us of some of the best farcical work by Blake Edwards, the director, whose movies include "10" and "Victor/Victoria." Unfortunately, the Texas sequence lasts only 30 minutes or so, and the rest of the movie is an uncomfortable mixture of psycho-babble, fake sincerity, and scenes we are supposed to take seriously even though they contain obviously impossible elements.
Reynolds plays a man who, we are told, loves women too much. At his funeral, they turn out by the dozens. But nowhere in the movie do we really see him loving a woman. He courts them. He is nice to them. He kids with them. He goes to bed with them. He tries to be protective toward a young hooker. But he's not a lover, he's a perfect host.
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